The new INQ Cloud Touch is as close as we are going to get to a Facebook phone for now. The smartphone is not officially made by Facebook but has the social network's services deeply embedded within the OS. It is a different approach than has been seen before and it's targeted at a new emerging market. Instead of going for the iPhone and Droid X crowd they are aiming this phone at younger first- and second-time smartphone buyers.
The features of this phone basically take apart the Facebook app and make each element visible and accessible directly from the home screen without the need to go into the app or through any menus. INQ channel manager Andrew Bennet gave TechCrunch a hands on preview of how they went about designing this phone with Facebook social networking as the central design element.
Every element; People, Events, Notifications, Places Check in, Messages, Chat and your Profile, are laid out as icons surrounding a central widget that makes up your entire home screen.
The central widget gives you an enhanced version of your news feed. It splits text-based status updates from media posts and makes them into separate scrollable sections. The media section takes the focus off of the friend that posted it and gives you a direct view of the link, video, photo or song.
This phone is also the first to use Facebook's new social graph API and it gives you a separate section that displays the updates from your closest friends, meaning the people who you interact with most frequently.
The Cloud Touch has also integrated your Facebook calendar, bringing your friends' birthdays and events into you Google calendar. Although you have all of your events in one place, the Facebook events will be visually different from your Google calendar items.
Lastly they have created a music player that integrates with the Spotify music networks, allowing you to take advantage of that service as well. Currently the Cloud Touch is scheduled for release overseas and though nothing is set yet they do plan on releasing it in the U.S. this year. What do you think would you be interested in a Facebook Android phone?